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Hex Mountain via Sasse Mountain Trail #1340

Our Hiking Time: 2h 30m
Total Ascent: 1500ft
Highest Point: 5030ft
Total Distance: 5 miles
Location: N 47° 19.2600, W 121° 3.8760
Required Permit: Northwest Forest Pass
Difficulty: Moderate

Nathan's PhotoThis week, the forecast predicted the type of clear and sunny day that just begs for a summit hike. With so many nearby mountaintops still covered in snow, we decided to head out over Snoqualmie Pass hoping to avoid another snowshoe. Luckily, our hunch panned out – snows have retreated much further on the east side of the mountains, and our hike up Hex Mountain was almost snow-free.

Short and rewarding, this is a great hike to take your reluctant hiking friends on. The trail is in great shape and not at all rough, with only one small blowdown along the way. The elevation gain might be little strenuous for some – about 600ft per mile – but should be approachable for most. hex mountain hikingwithmybrotherAnd the views will be enough to placate any complaints. As an added bonus, the motorcycles do a decent job of keeping other hikers at bay – don’t expect too much company on this one. Ideally, hit this one during the work week to dodge the motorized traffic.

There's a lot more to Hex Mountain, and you can learn all about it in our book, Hiking Through History Washington.  You'll find a trail map, route descriptions, history, and more for this and many more hikes throughout the State. Help support hikingwithmybrother.com and the work we do by picking up a copy!

To get there, take I-90 to Exit 80. Head left over the freeway following Bullfrog Road to SR 903. Follow 903 for 10 miles through Roslyn and along Cle Elum Lake to FR 4305 (about 1/4 mile before the Wish-poosh Campground). Turn right into FR 4305 and follow for a half-mile to the first intersection. Veer left and continue on FR 4305 for another mile, watching for a sign pointing left to Sasse Mountain. From here it is another mile to the end of the road and the trailhead. –Nathan

View large versions of the photos

15 Comments:



elle said...

This is absolutely beautiful! Even though I'm still a somewhat novice hiker, I'm putting this on my list for the Summer. Thanks for sharing!



Washington Motorcycle Trails Association said...

This thinly veiled diatribe on motorized trail bike use on one of the few remaining trails in Washington's national forests open to such use is a stark reminder of the hate and intolerance shown by those who oppose such use.

Only 15% of the trails in the Wenatchee National Forest are open to motorized use and yet the anti-motorized recreation camp seeks conflict whether real or simply perceived and then has the gall to complain of their contact with those they abhor.

If you had 85% of something I would venture to say that most people would be satisfied with that amount but not if you are hiking with your brother or one of the numerous other Washington Trails Association type selfish, elitist hikers-only advocates who simply can't tolerate the way others choose to enjoy the outdoors.

Washington state prides itself on being tolerant and welcoming to all and the majority of it's citizens decry these unconscionable attacks upon a legal, long established and widely accepted method of recreation and they must not be allowed to continue.

Those who do not wish to encounter motorcycles on the 15% of the trails open and approved for such use have millions and millions of acres of designated wilderness with countless trails, wildlife areas, vast tracts of national forest classified as non-motorized recreation, national parks and many other areas where they will not have to interface with those they loath and detest. Don't you think they could find somewhere in their 85% of the forest to go hiking and leave the trail bike riders alone?

You and your brother should take your hatred and intolerance of those whose activities you find distasteful or disagreeable and go elsewhere. You are not welcome in the state of Washington.



Nathan said...

WMTA -

It is unfortunate that you feel our post was some sort of anti-motorcycle manifesto. Quite the contrary, it was our hope that more hikers would choose to tackle this trail during the dry months despite reservations they may have about encountering motorized traffic. It's really a good hike.

If you've followed our blog for any length of time, you'll know that we happily hike on trails used by motorcyclists, snowmobiles and ATVs and have never found our interactions such enthusiasts anything but pleasant. As you are more than aware, our particular stance on the issue isn't shared by every hiker.

Our goal is to provide as much information about a trail as possible, especially facts that will help someone to make an informed choice about whether to hike a certain trail. For this post, we let our readers know that motorcycles use this trail, they can be loud, they can smell of gas, and they do deter a lot of hikers. Because, of course, that's important to some of our readers.

But that doesn't mean they are "bad" or shouldn't be allowed to use the trail, or they are in some way abhorrent. Those are value judgments, and the reader can draw their own conclusions from the information we provide, just as you did.

You'll note that the only actual opinions we express in the post is that this is a great hike to bring some friends on. Further, we never suggest that motorcyclists should be banned from the trail or that we are in any way opposed to their use.

I realize your response has very little to do with us, and much more to do with feeling like your pastime is being attacked at every turn. That said, you've addressed your diatribe to the wrong folks. Fact is, we'd much rather see people out on trails riding motorcycles than sitting around a coffee shops playing yet another round of Angry Birds.

Hope that helps clarify things. Best of luck, and we'll see you on the trail.

N



Washington Motorcycle Trails Association said...

"While the hike is less grueling in the summer, many hikers avoid it later in the season as parts of the trail open up to motorcycle traffic. While this can be a significant deterrent for some, a mid-week hike minimizes your chances of encountering motorcyclists. And even if you are forced to endure the noise, as we were, it’s likely only for a few minutes before the smell of gas dissipates and the sounds of the forest return. Moreover, motorcycles are not allowed all the way up the trail, allowing you some respite near the summit."

This direct quote from the article in question abounds with anti-motorcycle sentiment. When you say that you were forced to endure the noise, smell of gas, the disruption of the sounds of the forest and respite from the encounter with trail bikes only near the summit I don't see how one can categorize such comments as anything other than anti-motorized recreation commentary.

Is it really necessary for you to steer hikers towards the few remaining trails where they will likely encounter other trail users that they have been conditioned into having a conflict with?

Isn't the 85% of the forest where you and your brother will absolutely have no chance of dealing with trail bikes enough for you to explore and blog about?

Perhaps you wish to take up the banner and methods of Harvey Manning and Ira Spring and their famous hiking guides which always began with a vitriolic manifesto against trail bike use on forest trails.

Perhaps you wish to use the "perceived conflict" issue that the WTA employed with such great success to close the North Fork Entiat area of the Wenatchee N.F. to motorized use and stoke the fires of the anti-access groups to get the entire Teanaway area to yourselves.

I don't believe for one minute that you or your brother are as benevolent towards motorized outdoor recreation as to wish to portray yourselves.

Your blog and many others like it are monitored and followed closely by those who are pledged to fight for the rights of trail bike users to ride on the last few remaining high altitude, alpine type trails left in Washington. Anti trail bike articles will be called out and not left unchallenged to be accepted as the groupthink of the majority of citizens who if truth be told wish for tolerance and fairness to prevail in our shared forests.

Share the trails......Stop The Hate!!!



knobby said...

Hate and Intolerance? Seriously, it's hard to see how you are helping your cause, WMTA when you overreact to some innocuous comments and post spittle-flicked diatribes in response.

Our experience with motos on the trail has mostly been positive, but that does not mean that we do not prefer to avoid them when possible.

Our experience with moto-caused damage to trails, such as Nason Ridge, has not been so positive. Perhaps you should direct more efforts to fixing problem areas like that. That trail is the poster child for banning motos from alpine areas completely.



Anonymous said...

i enjoy riding my motorcycle and i enjoy hikin g. when i'm hiking i don't want to eat a motorcycle's dust. it's pretty simple, these boys were just trying to advise people of what they may ecounter. get off your high "mechanical" horse!



Anonymous said...

Wow! the WMTA really needs a new public relations rep.



Unknown said...

Hey guys-

Thanks for a great site. Just a quick heads up that this trail now requires the Northwest Forest Pass.



Jer said...

Hi! Thanks for the info, I've updated the post. How is the snow looking right now and is the gate open to the trailhead?



Anonymous said...

Hey, WMTA Guy,

The only 'diatribe' I see here is the one spewing forth from your keyboard. Prior to reading your rants above, I had no particular opinion either way about trail bike use in general or the WMTA in particular. After reading your vitriolic and hysterical drivel, however, I now will actively oppose your organization whenever the opportunity arises.

Best of luck.

Sincerely,

A Trail User



Anonymous said...

"hatred and intolerance"??? Because they don't like smelling gas fumes while hiking? Your response is way out of proportion.



Aaron said...

Thanks for another great post. I think we can safely assume that only 15% of trails are left open for motorcycles because that's about the percentage of Seattlites that agree with WMTA here. Keep up the good work.



Agasthya said...

The gate up to the trailhead is indeed open. I was able to drive all the way up to the trailhead in my Civic. You guys might want to also post a recommendation that the hiker has a car with decent ground clearance to get up to the trailhead. It was a bit of a surprise that there was a gravel road for 2+ miles from FR4305 to the trailhead. I winced as I heard the rocks flicking up and hitting the side of the car :)

As for the trail itself: there is almost no snow until you reach about 4500-4600ft... Then there is quite a bit of snow. But, it is all very manageable - the snow was very packed down so you could easily walk on top of it. My dog really enjoyed the snow :) The trail up to the summit is almost completely covered in snow but you can either walk on it or around it. I chose to walk around it because I only had sneakers on. Also, be warned that it is EXTREMELY steep coming back down.

And finally, there was almost no one on the trail. I didn't see or hear any motorcycles or ATVs and only saw 2 other groups of hikers. If you're looking for a great hike without any traffic then this is ideal.



Redwood said...

Dear WMTA-

Chill out.

You've missed an opportunity to expand your message and create communication that might forward your message. Instead, you've resisted a perceived wrong (there was none) and have only made everything worse for you. For you to draw "hate" out of the article above is bizarre and indicates hate is something you likely focus on in general.

yikes. very sad.

Unless you start celebrating the 15% of the Wenatchee forest you apparently have left, and start communicating in a more collaborative and friendly manner, your share of the forest is likely going to decline rapidly to 10%. then nada. Based on your interaction here, I too, am now of the impression that motorcycle driving trail riders are selfish, hateful and rude. way to go.

I recommend an apology to these brothers, and everyone else. Then, perhaps we can all look together to see what sort of resolutions can be had that might create a win for everyone concerned.

Engaging the outdoors as you see fit is your business. However you need to work a little harder and think a little deeper before you speak.

btw, I notice these gentlemen have taken the time to share thoughts and experiences in a variety of ways, hiking, taking pictures, writing. Acknowledging that they are free to editorialize as they see fit...I notice your blog, WMTA is devoid of information. There is nothing there about your stand, your intent, what the WMTA is about. nothing. zero. zip. So, while these brothers have had the courage to share their experiences and point of view, you have exhibited nothing of the sort. I'm guessing the WMTA, assuming there is such an organization, would be embarrassed by your ridiculous and empty vitriole.

WMTA: Go to your room, do your homework and then you can come out again when you are ready to play nice.

To the Brothers: Keep up the good work. You are creating something that people like WMTA can't understand and is good even for people like him. Kudos.



Shannon said...

Beautiful hike! The 360 view from the top was amazing. Thanks for the recommendation. We went up yesterday (a Sunday) and we had the trail almost entirely to ourselves. No one but a single (polite) motorcyclist and four people on horseback. Can't believe we had the whole summit to ourselves on a weekend. Highly recommended.

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